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Field Service Management – Top Five Trends in 2014

by (January 7, 2014)

Field Service Technician

Field service management is ever-evolving; especially the role played by technology in the sector has really come to the fore. And with advancement in technology, this trend will continue to grow. We believe that there is a real shift taking place as field service businesses move away from using archic paper-based management systems to all-in-one mobile solutions which allow them to manage their operations and ultimately transform their performance.

If you’re not currently using or thinking about mobile capabilities for your field service solution, you’ve severely limited your ability to achieve improved efficiency and profitability.

In near future, Field service management solutions will be more competitive or faster changing than it is today. This is due to high requirement from field services executives to support their demanding customers. Connecting Field Service staff and employees with other peers through mobile in the field and in back office is becoming much easier nowadays. With availability of collaboration tools, mobiles/tablets and technological developments, Enterprises can capture the knowledge that otherwise would have been lost. Mobile applications already support some levels of collaboration making it quicker for employees to share customer data, manage parts and update service history. But rather that a huge amount of data is naturally being created as more and more information is generated.

Here are five trends we predict on developments in Field Service industry this year:

1. Mobile will be next big collaboration tool

With number of mobile devices to outgrow overall population, the use of mobile technology can help enterprise and employees to be in sync at all times. Field Service businesses will use mobile applications to communicate with their field service staff, providing them real-time information to improve collaboration with their peers and customers. Applications will also drive collaboration with internal teams like supply chain, while connecting each one within the team to achieve higher productivity. This is an irresistible prospect for many field service organizations and as such the number of enterprises utilizing mobile applications is likely to rise.

2. Field Service Business will be more productive

The uptake of mobile applications and associated technologies will help many field service businesses to increase efficiency and be more productive than before. For example – features like route optimization and scheduling customer visits based on location will save time and money for organizations. In coming years, we predict more businesses to take advantage of the unique features available in this space to improve the way they work to transform their business and overall performance.

3. Real-time information to enhance profitability

Business Intelligence is critical for any business. Field Service mobile solution will ensure business has real-time information on operational performance of their field service staff while they access and update data in real-time from the field. This will enable the field service process on a whole to become faster and make quicker decisions which inturn will increase efficiency, reduce risk and lower costs. As a result, if businesses adopt field service technology, the analysis of the data tool provides will become integral part of the process.

4. Putting Customers First will become priority for Businesses

Organisations are increasingly realizing the need to address their customers first is a great way to improve not only their service but also operations and their overall business.

A recent survey conducted by Aberdeen group, a leading Market Research Firm surveyed 144 manufacturing companies and service organizations in order to highlight the best practices in regard to mobile field service initiatives and its impact on productivity. The key finding of the survey are as follows:

Drivers for field service mobility

5. Applications Integration with back-end systems

Many times we purchase something and later realize that it requires additional accessories for it to work. For Example – You purchase a software for your business and notice some features are missing for it to integrate with your backend systems. Sometimes you do not know these things until you have the product with you. This has always been a challenge for distributed systems and also in the mobile computing generation. Mobile users are more likely to use applications if you give them real-time information. For Example – If a field service staff raises an invoice through your online application, your customer service representatives should be able to verify it when the customer calls in, to make or confirm payments. This has to integrate with your back-ends for you to access/update data.
Therefore, integration is critical and you need to be aware that integration can be complex especially with complex legacy systems. Find out and adopt a service oriented architecture approach to surface legacy applications as standard service that can be employed into mobile environment.

If you’d like more information on this topic write to our author at Vicky.ramalingam@rapidvaluesolutions.com

Vicky Ramalingam
Business Development Associate – Field Service Mobility

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